Testing as a Phase

One will never know how good something is unless it has been tested. Testing is the process of evaluating a system or its components with the intent to find whether it satisfies the specified requirements or not. So, testing is a very important part of any product development process. The results of the testing will determine what features have been built strong, what changes need to be made, and whether the product is meeting the customer requirements or not. A proper, methodical testing is essential to develop a quality product.

Importance of Testing in the Software World

When we develop a product, we do so with an intent that it serves its purposes well. In the working stage, how do we know if the product or its components is developed correctly? That’s where the testing comes in. We need to ensure that the features: 

  1. Meet the set requirements,
  2. Function correctly in the desired range of inputs,
  3. Perform its functions within an acceptable time,
  4. Are as user-friendly as possible,
  5. Can be installed and run in its intended environments, and
  6. Have an overall desirable performance.

Testing is done by writing test cases for the product components, and reviewing the outputs and performances for those cases. If the product construction follows the design specifications set by the design team, and the performance from the test cases are satisfactory, the process can go further, and if the outcomes are not satisfactory, then the design and product development is redone and rechecked.

Why Agile Testing over Traditional Methods?

When we implement Agile Methodology in testing, we take testing in every life cycle. Any errors identified will be easily tracked within that component and can be addressed quickly. This is in contrast to the way things are done in the traditional models, where the entire product functioning is tested for overall functionality, and the errors are identified only in the end stage. The problem in this approach is that, at the end stage, the overall scope of the source of the bugs is too vast to pin point where the error may be. This will lead to tedious testing of each and every component and feature. 

Testing Levels

As mentioned, in Agile, the testing is done throughout the process, simultaneous to the designing, planning, development and implementation of the product. 
At the component level: while coding a particular segment, the developer can run a few tests to correct any syntax errors, and check the working of that segment.
At the compilation phase: while integrating all the units and segments together, even if the segments individually work fine, tests  should be run to check whether the compiled form has errors.

Test run: the product should finally be tested as a whole to see performance, both by the development team, as well as an outside user group. This ensures that error that may have been missed by the developing team can be identified from an outside perspective.

Writing Agile Test Cases

Test cases for a program help in verifying if there are no bugs present in the program. When strong test cases are written, it saves the effort and time in testing again and again, making the whole testing process smoother.  A good test case is one that is capable of being used repeatedly, covers maximum number of situations and conditions, can trace back to the source of error, and should be such that it is relevant in testing from the user’s perspective. Writing test cases for software takes a little practice and knowledge of the software that’s being tested. Testing can be a challenging process, but only through methodical testing can we achieve perfect results.

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